By Miguel Mike Medina
The Miami Heat continue to stay focused and poised. The Celtics have not risen to the challenge. Heat win on the road again, 111-105, to take Game 2 and go up 2-0 in the series.
Miami ended the game on an 18-4 run. Grant Williams started talking trash to Jimmy Butler, which started the whole run for Miami. It’s not the best decision for Williams to start talking trash to Jimmy Butler, out of all people. You do not poke the bear in the fourth quarter. Jimmy Butler’s midrange game is off the charts. He stepped up to the challenge and lifted his team to victory. He finished the game with 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Butler didn’t do it alone. His teammates had his back and produce. Caleb Martin was sensational with 25 points, 11 for 16 from the field, and knocked down three of his seven three-pointers. Duncan Robinson got loose and made some big shots in this game. Bam Adebayo being Bam Adebayo with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. Miami won the rebound game 45 to 35. Miami’s role players are outplaying the Celtics’ role players in this series.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. However, he’s been a no-show in the fourth quarter of this series. He has no field goals and combined for five turnovers. Jaylen Brown had an off-game. He finished with 16 points on a 7 for 23 shooting.
Miami is 10-3 in the postseason. It’s the same record as the No. 1 seed in the West, Denver Nuggets. Miami is undefeated at home in the playoffs.
By Miguel Mike Medina
Miami Heat stole the home court from the Boston Celtics with a 123-116 victory in Game 1. It was a collective team effort by the Heat. Boston’s Achilles heel was their turnovers and lack of urgency. This is the second consecutive series when Boston loses Game 1 on their home court.
Kyle Lowry kept Miami in the game in the first half. He had 15 points off the bench. Boston had a big second quarter. They went on a 15-2 run, and their offense clicked. Celtics led by nine by halftime. In the third quarter, everything changed. Miami played an outstanding third quarter. They outscored Boston 46-25, which marked the highest playoff scoring quarter in Miami Heat history.
In the fourth quarter, it was the Jimmy Butler show. He’s a superstar for a reason. A superstar takes over the game, whether he is scoring or facilitating, or playing defense. Jimmy did all three of those. He is an unbelievable player. My favorite moment of Jimmy Butler is when he hit that dagger three-pointer to make it 120-110. After he hit that shot, he looked at his bench and winked at them. Butler finishes the game with 35 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and a player career-high six steals. Bam Adebayo added 20 points with eight rebounds. Strus, Vincent, and Martin had 15 points each.
Miami shot the ball well as a team. They shot 54% from the field, 16-of-31 from the three-point line.
Game 2 will be on Friday night, as Miami is trying to return to South Beach with a 2-0 lead.
By Miguel Mike Medina
The Miami Heat could’ve let this game slip away. Miami missed 12 of its first 15 shots in the fourth quarter. However, they found the tenacity to come out with a win over the New York Knicks. They showed their poise, leadership, resilience, and confidence in Game 4. Miami won 109-101 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Jimmy Butler is playing through the ankle injury. Butler has led Miami in scoring in every game throughout this postseason. Butler led Miami with 27 points, ten assists, six rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. His ten assists in this game are huge, and it had to do with the Knicks continuing to double-team him. The more the Knicks tried to trap Butler, the easier it made for him to find his teammates. Jimmy Butler trusts his teammates. Butler took just 17 shots in this game. Butler looked more like Butler from the regular season than postseason Jimmy Butler in this game. He didn’t have to go into full Michael Jordan 2.0 mode by scoring 40-50 points to help his team win in Game 4. He had help from his teammates.
Bam Adebayo had a sensational game. He finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. The Knicks, the third-best rebounding team in the league, got outrebounded 44-35 in Game 4. Kyle Lowry was on fire. He led the second unit with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 26 minutes. He shot 4-of-6 from the field and hit 2 of his four 3-point attempts. Lowry is a winner. Whether starting or coming from the bench, he’s ready to play and gives all his efforts. This team and the organization love him. Lowry and Miami Heat are the perfect match. He won a championship in 2019 with the Toronto Raptors. He knows what it takes to win, and Miami Heat culture is about winning, especially right now.
Kevin Love has an arm of a quarterback. He’s looking like Dan Marino on the court, making outstanding passes in this series, such as Games 1 and 4. Miami’s bench has been tremendous in this series. They have outscored the Knicks bench 116 to 62. Rebounding, defense, making free throws, and bench points can help you with games. Miami is bringing all those tools in this series, and they’re making the Knicks scratch their heads. Head coach Erik Spoelstra is a great coach. He knows how to get his team ready to play every single night.
The series shifts back to New York for Game 5. The Knicks will try to stay away from elimination. Miami is looking to become the second No. 8 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks.
By Miguel Mike Medina
The New York Knicks wanted the split against a short-handed Miami Heat team. Jimmy Butler did not play due to a right ankle sprain he suffered in Game 1. If you’re in Miami, you should return to Miami feeling confident because the Knicks were in trouble with this Miami Heat team in Game 2 on Tuesday. Knicks did go on a 12-3 run in the 4th quarter, and momentum shifted their way. Knicks won this game 111-105, and they got the split against the No. 8 seed Miami Heat.
Jalen Brunson led the Knicks’ with 30 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals while hitting 10 of 19 field-goal attempts, including six of 10 from 3-point distance. He’s not 100% healthy, but he is willing to do what it takes to help the Knicks win. Julius Randle returned after missing Game 1 due to an ankle sprain. He’s been battling with injuries, and things haven’t been going so smoothly for him, but he redeemed himself and had a good night with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. RJ Barrett finished with 24 while hitting five of nine 3-point attempts. All three men combined for 79 of the team’s 111 points. Josh Hart hit a big three-pointer in the 4th quarter to make it 104-100.
Without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro on the lineup, Miami used their three-point shooting to their advantage. Caleb Martin led the Heat with 22 points while knocking down 4 of his eight threes and eight rebounds. Gabe Vincent added 21 points. Miami knows how to develop players. Miami Heat culture is different than many organizations.
The series shifts back to Miami. One of my favorite cities in the world, and I love South Beach and Little Havana. Game 3 will be on Saturday. This is good for Jimmy Butler because he will rest for four days, which should help him recover from his ankle injury. Tyler Herro won’t be back in this series as he is still healing from his wrist injury.
Several big names were in the building on Tuesday night, such as former Knick players John Starks, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire, new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Academy Award-winning filmmaker and writer Spike Lee.
By Miguel Mike Medina
Miami Heat and New York Knicks faced each other in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. During that time, Carmelo Anthony was with the Knicks, while the Heat had the Big Three with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. The best playoff moments between the Knicks and Heat were from the 90s during the Patrick Ewing/Alonzo Mourning era.
This year’s matchup seems more intriguing because both teams are equally good, and it could go either way. Both teams can play offense and defend well. On Sunday afternoon, Round One goes to Miami. The Miami Heat stole the home court and won 108-101.
The Knicks played great with urgency in the first half. They led as many as 11. Miami rallied in the game late in the second quarter, but momentum shifted in the third quarter. The Knicks were missing a lot of shots from downtown. Miami outscored the Knicks 31-20 in the third quarter. The best game assist came in that quarter when Kevin Love threw a quarterback-to-wide receiver touchdown pass to Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals on an 8 of 16 shooting in 43 minutes. Point guard Gabe Vince had a sensational game with 20 points and five assists in 33 minutes. Kyle Lowry added 18 points from the bench.
RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Jalen Brunson had 25 points but went cold from downtown (0 for 7). Barrett and Brunson combined for nine turnovers in Game 1. They need to clean that up for Game 2. Obi Toppin added 18 points and eight rebounds. The Knicks didn’t get much production from their bench. Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley only had 9 points on 3 of 9 shooting.
The Knicks will try to even the series on Tuesday night.